Livestock Disease and African Food Security

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Livestock Disease and African Food Security A serious problem in Africa today is the emergence of rampant, deadly strains of disease that are affecting livestock and ravaging populations of pigs and cattle in many African nations, putting food security at risk in many populations of various nations. With already major food scarcity issues among many emerging African nations, disease will only further pressure an already dire situation for food security in Africa. Livestock play important roles in farming systems, which provide primarily food and income, which is necessary for food security. Nearly 12 percent of the world populations rely solely on livestock for its livelihood.(4) The latest outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the West African island nation of Cape Verde threatens the country's entire pig population, according to a 1996 FAO report. The disease has been endemically present in at least part of Cape Verde archipelago since 1985 - with peaks of morbidity/mortality twice a year, in spring and winter.(1) ASF is caused by a particularly resistant virus and is a potentially devastating disease. Very few pigs survive infection and those that do are contagious. ASF is endemically present in wild pigs in southern and eastern Africa in a cycle including infected domestic pigs, soft ticks and wild pigs.(1) In various ecosystems of Central and Western Africa there are huge outbreaks of this disease among domestic pigs and the disease occurs elsewhere in Africa. In all areas, infection is most common as a result of contact with infected, recovered or carrier pigs and ingestion of contaminated or infected garba... ... middle of paper ... ...ture Organization of the United Nations. "Major Outbreak of Swine Fever threatens food security in Cape Verde" 1998. Rome, Italy. (2) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "FAO responds to outbreak of swine fever in Benin" 1998. Rome, Italy. (3) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. "Intensive surveillance and vaccination campaign checks rinderpest epidemic in East Africa" 1997. Rome, Italy. (4) Pig Disease Information Centre. "Pig Health" 2000. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Background information: EMPRES, FAO. Livestock Disease Scenarios of Mobile versus Sedentary Pastoral Systems. Date? Rome, Italy.

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